Searching beyond the Cover

My family has always described me as a very neat person, striving to always maintain physical order in my room.  As a young child, I never wanted anyone to disturb the tidiness of my room, especially when I was gone.

When my younger brother Andy was around one or two years of age, he loved to go in my room and play with whatever toys he could find.  Particularly, since my books were on a shelf where he could reach, he entertained himself with pulling all of them off the shelf and then sitting in the midst of the pile, flipping through the pages to look at the pictures.  Therefore, when I returned home from school, I would frequently find my room to be a MESS!  Then, as an impatient soul, I became angry at him, frustrated that I had to constantly clean up after him.  As time passed, either Andy messed up my room less and less, or I grew more tolerant of this habit.  I further looked over this trait of his and began admiring more and more of his positive characteristics—his humor, kindness, genuineness, helpfulness, and protection.  Today, even though we do not live physically close, we share a strong sibling bond and love for one another—one that I hope we will continuously treasure in the years to come.

Now, who in your life possesses characteristics that drive you ABSOLUTELY CRAZY?  It may be a family member, friend, acquaintance, patient, or even a colleague.  What about that individual gets beneath your skin?  Is that trait (or are those traits) the only one(s) that he or she has?  I challenge you today to pry further into getting to know the person beyond the surface.

 As you begin your soul searching, take a moment to reflect on the statement that Angela Hunt writes in her novel The Note:

 “’People are like newspapers,…and most of them don’t want to open up when you first meet ‘em.  They’ll show you their front pages, maybe even let you read some ads on the back page.  If you take a little time and ask the right questions, you might be trusted enough to peek at the masthead on page two.  But if you really want to read everything, you’ve got to convince them to open up all the way.  Not until then will you be able to read the fine print of the soul’ (95).”

 Remember the famous saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” Search beyond their “covers,” and discover what they can offer to this world.  Moreover, trust that the Lord has allowed you two to cross paths for a purpose, even if you do not understand it immediately.  Even though he is my brother, I looked beyond what I considered to be Andy’s “flaws,” and I can honestly say it has been a life-changing, life-enriching experience!

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